A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR MONITORING AND EVALUATION

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In this Handbook, we have tried to adhere to a conceptual framework that takes into account not only a variety of broad development concerns, but also the many context-sensitive issues related to ICT use for educational development. Current development thinking posits that to foster sustainable development, policies must go beyond supporting economic growth, and provide the human and social infrastructure for economic growth and development in the long term. Th us development policies should minimize distributional inequities, provide resources for the development of physical infrastructure and human capital, and develop the society’s capacity to create, absorb, and adapt to new knowledge, including the reform of its education system and R&D capacity.

Within education, reform is needed to revise the curriculum, improve pedagogy, reinforce assessment, develop teachers, and to bring the education system into alignment with economic and social development policy goals. Th e use of ICT—and ICT impact—must be considered within this broad development context. Some countries have developed ICT master plans that specify the ways in which ICT can support education reform and contribute to development, but many have not. Th e Handbook provides, we believe, a useful conceptual framework for any specifi c ICT intervention context, which takes into account the layers and interactions of a number of inputs into the development process. Check for Educational Evaluations in US at UT Evaluators

Once this context is established and the role of ICT is specifi ed, then a plan for monitoring and evaluation can be designed. Such a plan would describe the components of the intervention, the role of ICT and how it is integrated into the curriculum, the pedagogy, and assessment. It must also describe the required infrastructure—the equipment, software, communications and networking—that would be required to implement the intervention.

Th e plan for M&E must also indicate the human resources required (such as teacher training) that are needed, including training in equipment operation, software use, and instructional integration. It would not make sense to evaluate the outcomes of the intervention without fi rst assessing the extent to which these intervention components were implemented.

Th e fi rst step of the monitoring and evaluation (M&E) process should specify a plan to measure the implementation fi delity of the intervention. Th e M&E plan should then design measures of the intended outcomes, with a notion of how they might feed into the more “downstream,” and less easily measurable, but desirable long-term development goals. Also, the design of the M&E plan should specify the analyses that would account for—either experimentally or statistically—the other moderating factors that would infl uence the success of the intervention, such as the level of community support, the availability of digital content in the appropriate language, and the extent to which ICTs are also available in the home or community. For Educational Evaluations in US visit here

Based on this conceptual framework, operational defi nitions—both rigorous and measurable—are needed for desired learning outcomes (skills and attitudes), as well as acceptable methodologies and indicators that can be used (after likely adaptation) to consider the impact of ICTs in education. Th ere is also a need, we believe, to expand current defi nitions of basic skills to account for what we term the notion of a ‘broader literacy’9 , that would include, where appropriate, information literacy and numeracy skills (e.g., information analytical and search skills, statistical reasoning, and so forth), as well as desired social and economic outcomes.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it needs to be understood that M&E is an imperfect science, but like any scientifi c endeavor, one builds on the accumulated knowledge (and yes, mistakes) of one’s forebears. Th us, this Handbook, as detailed in the next section, will begin with an historical review of M&E impact studies—and then consider the key issues of M&E in ICT for education today and tomorrow.

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